A Personal Stylists Guide to Shopping in Sydney

Hayley Cooper poses and smiles in front of a clothing rack.
Sydney has such a diverse range of availability across womenswear, menswear, maternity wear, corporate wear, special occasion wear, plus size clothing and petite clothing. Knowing what shopping locations are worth the visit is a key step here.

As Australia’s biggest city, with a high population of locals, interstate and overseas travellers, Sydney provides a mecca of shopping options for anybody who simply wears clothes and wants to build on their personal style. Read on for a Personal Stylist’s recommendation on how to master shopping in Sydney, it’s easier than you think and goes beyond the central business district.

Over the past 10 years of running Personal Shopping Sessions all across Sydney, I’ve never had a client I couldn’t shop for.  There’s something suitable for everyone.

Sydney has such a diverse range of availability across womenswear, menswear, maternity wear, corporate wear, special occasion wear, plus size clothing and petite clothing. Knowing what shopping locations are worth the visit is a key step here.

These shopping destinations go beyond Sydney’s CBD, although Pitt St Mall is absolutely one of my favourite locations to shop at with clients due to the amount of choice we have with Westfield Sydney, The Strand Arcade, The Queen Victoria Building (QVB), The Galleries, and Mid City Shopping Centre all being within the one walkable location. There’s a huge mix of variety here and retailers that cater to a mix of shopping budgets, sizes and personal style goals.

Venture beyond Sydney City and you’ll find accessible shopping centres, fashion outlets and iconic shopping strips.

However, venture outside of Sydney City to the wider suburbs throughout Sydney and you will find accessible shopping centres full of all your favourite retailers, some who aren’t even in the city, as well as local boutiques, cool cafes for coffee stops and lots of parking. I regularly shop in North West Sydney, South Sydney, South West Sydney, Western Sydney and the Eastern Suburbs.

If I can teach a client how to navigate their local shopping centre, know what to buy and where to shop, that’s a huge help for their future shopping on their own.

I find for my plus size and petite size clients, the suburban shopping centres like Macquarie Centre, Westfield Miranda, Westfield Parramatta, Macarthur Square, Westfield Penrith, Narellan Town Centre and Castle Towers Shopping centre have a wider range to choose from compared to Sydney city.

Transport tips

If we’re shopping in the city, it’s easiest to catch public transport, an Uber or if you can, walk to meet me and catch a ride back home or to your hotel when the shopping bags may be a little too heavy. The closest train stations are St James and Town Hall. If you’re driving, the Domain Car Park near St Mary’s Cathedral has the cheapest parking rates and it’s easy to drive here without the GPS going crazy.

If we’re shopping in the suburbs, it’s easiest to drive. Shopping locations outside of Sydney CBD have lots of parking options available, including car parks and street parking. Some shopping centres will also validate your parking ticket if you have spent a certain amount in centre, which is helpful if we’re doing a longer Personal Shopping Session. Locations like Macquarie Centre, Castle Towers and Westfield Parramatta are really easy to travel to if you’re catching public transport, including the metro. 

Wherever we shop, if there is an exclusive Personal Stylist discount available in the stores or with various brands, I will let you know and will pass this onto you.

Some retailers and tailors offer exclusive discounts that are only available when shopping together. I don’t make any commission or benefit from your purchases, the retailers we shop in are purely based on what I feel will work best for you.

Here is breakdown of the best shopping spots in Sydney.

Sydney City

Sydney City includes the central business district. This is where I usually shop with personal styling clients. Within this location we have access to Pitt St Mall, Westfield Sydney, The Strand Arcade, Mid City Shopping Centre, The Galleries, The Queen Victoria Building (QVB) and stores on George St.

I find the city to be a great location for:

  • People living in Harbourside suburbs of Mosman, Neutral Bay, Cremorne, Point Piper and others who can easily travel into the city from home. Or, anybody in Sydney who wants access to a mix of retailers.
  • Shopping all retailers including well-known Australian chain store retailers like Portmans, Seed, Forever New, Witchery, Country Road, there’s always a great mix of current fashion in these stores and often high product and size availability.

  • The variety available in David Jones and Myer. Both of these department stores have the most versatile range of brands and product choice than anywhere else in Australia. If you’re a lover of a good department store, shop here. There’s an increasingly growing amount of Australian and international brands available here. These brands often don’t have standalone stores elsewhere. Think Madewell from LA, Whistles from London, as well as our Australian desgienrs.

  • Luxury fashion including Max Mara, Chanel, Miu Miu, Dior, Prada, Gucci and Harrold’s. These stores are located in Westfield Sydney and surrounding streets.
  • Great quality shoe stores, including stores for hard to fit feet. David Jones has an entire level dedicated to shoes, some are designer brands, others are more affordable options. We also have favourites like Nine West and Wanted Shoes close-by and Melbourne based brand Jo Mercer which are located in the multiple shopping spots we’ll have access to.

  • Young Designer Markets. Inside Westfield Sydney on the ground floor you’ll find a range of unique, boutique style collections from Australian Designers. Many of these designers are local to Sydney and make their clothing in Australia. Many come from local fashion colleges that I have taught at in Sydney.
  • Zara, Topshop and H&M are all here too! Zara actually has two store locations within Westfield Sydney. These are all large stores and can get quite busy around lunchtime with all the city workers stopping in on their lunch breaks, so allow time for visiting, particularly for Zara and H&M.

  • The city is one of my top recommendations for menswear, particularly if we’re shopping for a mix of smart casual wear, work wear or suiting. I find many of my male clients like to shop in the city as they live or work close-by and can discover some go-to brands and retailers they can easily visit when they need to top up on shirts or grab a new pair of chinos. 

  • A special occasion outfit. If you’re looking for a non-traditional wedding dress, a bridesmaid dress, an engagement party outfit, a milestone birthday outfit or simply something special, the city is your best option. Visit The Strand Arcade or the mix of brands within David Jones and Myer.

  • If you’re visiting Sydney and live interstate or overseas, I definitely recommend heading here for shopping. Allow a full day so you can take your time exploring the various locations and the larger stores.  

  • Australian Designers are located in The Stand Arcade, Myer and David Jones. You can find iconic Australian brands here like Camilla and Marc, Bianca Spender, Rebecca Vallance, Rachel Gilbert, By Johnny, Scanlan Theodore, Sass and Bide, Carla Zampatti, Bassike, Skin and Threads and many more high quality Australian brands.

North West Sydney

This area includes Lane Cove, Ryde, Hornsby, Pymble, Turramurra and surrounding areas of the lower North Shore, as well as Castle Hill, Baulkham Hills, Bella Vista and Kellyville.

My absolute favourite shopping centre in all of Sydney is Macquarie Centre. It’s a much quieter location than the city but has a similar retail mix. Many of my clients who live North West of Sydney prefer to shop here. If you have been to Chadstone in Melbourne, this centre has a similar feel.  

They have the Fashion Galleria which includes a mix of fashion retailers than span across two levels. Here you can find your go-to retailers like Witchery, Portmans, Seed, Saba, Zara, H&M, as well as a mix of street wear stores, shoe stores, a great David Jones, as well as a Myer. You can also find Australian Designers here like Aje, Alice McCall, Scanlan Theodore, Tigerlilly, Zimmermann and Sass and Bide.

If you live closer to the hills district, I recommend we shop at Castle Towers. There are many local stores within this centre run by locals, as well as the usual mix of Australian retailers.

South Sydney

This area covers Miranda, Cronulla, Kurnell, Caringbah, Taren Point, Illawong, Connells Point, Hurstville, Bangor, Woronora and suburbs moving South West like Sandy Point, Revesby and Alfords Point.

Westfield Miranda is one of the largest shopping centres in NSW and caters to a wide mix of suburbs. Here you’ll find the go to Australian retailers like Decjuba, Review, Portmans, Sportsgirl, Forever New, Sussan, Country Road, Cue and some Australian designer brands including Aje, Alice McCall, Camilla, Zimmermann, and international stores like Zara and Uniqlo.

Clients who live toward the south coast or in the Heathcoate or Engadine region also shop here often. 

South West Sydney

This area covers Camden, Campbelltown, Leppington, Narellan, Edensor Park and Liverpool areas. Clients from Wollongong, Bowral and other areas of the South Coat and Southern Highlands are in this category.

For these locations, I recommend shopping at Macarthur Square, Stockland Wetherill Park or Narellan Town Centre.

These locations have our Australian retailers like Just Jeans, Dotti, Decjuba, Portmans and other retailers that are widely available. Narellan Town Centre and Macarthur Square cover a large trade area so often more variety across styles and sizes. These locations also have some local businesses in their centres and a great David Jones ta Macarthur Square.

These areas are further out of Sydney CBD but have the benefit of housing key retailers, accessibility with parking and being close to home for clients who live locally. There’s never an additional charge to shop with clients in these locations, in fact, it’s the quietest shopping we could do! Change room and cash register queues are a breeze in these shopping spots.

East Sydney

This area covers Bondi, Randwick, Maroubra, Rose Bay, Bellevue Hill, Woollahra and surrounding suburbs. These areas are ideal for boutique shopping in Double Bay, Bondi and Paddington.

You’ll find intimate boutiques here with a variety of local and international brands that are hard to find elsewhere in Sydney. Locals often run them.

I recommend Westfield Bondi Junction for the widest retail mix here, including Australian chain store retailers, Australian designer brands as well as international designer brands. The Zara here is particularly great too. It’s also located within walking distance to some Bondi only boutiques. Westfield Bondi Junction is also a recommended location for menswear shopping.

For Australian designer brands, The Intersection at Paddington is close-by, located on the corner of Oxford St and Glenmore Rd. You’ll find Bassike, Alice McCall, Camilla, Camilla and Marc, Dion Lee, Ginger and Smart, Lover and all of the iconic Australian designer brands here. There are lots of quirky cafes and other interesting fashion boutiques and homewear stores here. This is a famous shopping strip within Sydney. On the weekend, you have the Paddington Markets where you can discover small local brands.

Inner West Sydney

These suburbs include Waterloo, Zetland, Leichardt, Newtown, Stanmore, Camperdown and surrounding areas. These suburbs are a close trip to the city so for a day of shopping to update your complete wardrobe I’d recommend heading into the city.

Waterloo and Alexandria are home to many fashion houses, warehouses and retailer outlets. Fashion brands, in particular Australian designers, will run sample sales from their warehouses or have an outlet that is open to the public.

McEvoy St and Dunning Ave in Alexandria are where you’ll find the most variety. Connect with your favourite brands on social media or sign up to their email list to be notified of upcoming sample sales.

You can also find Birkenhead Point which is a fashion outlet located on the bay in Drummoyne, or head down King St in Newtown for vintage finds, quirky boutiques and sustainable and ethical shopping. 

Western Sydney

This is a huge area of Sydney, covering Penrith, Parramatta, Blacktown and many suburbs in between. For shopping here, I recommend Westfield Penrith or Westfield Parramatta. Both centres have a mix of Australian retailers and favourites and cater to wide trade area meaning more product and size availability.

Westfield Parramatta is one of Australia’s largest shopping centres covering 5 levels, 4 of these are mainly fashion focused. You’ll also find David Jones, Myer, Zara and H&M here.

Many clients who live in the Blue Mountains will shop at Westfield Penrith, although Westfield Parramatta isn’t too much further with the M4 connecting the Blue Mountains and Parramatta.

North Sydney

These areas cover Warringah, Manly, Brookvale, Curl Curl, Balgowlah and beyond.

Westfield Warringah Mall, also known as “The Mall” is a good choice for people living in the Northern suburbs. All of the main retailers, including Australian designers are located here. It is predominately an outdoor centre and has a nice atmosphere to it.

Macquarie Centre is also a great choice that is still close-by to the Northern suburbs and easy to travel to. 

Wherever we shop, you will receive a completely personalised service from me.

The location we shop at should depend on your individual needs including your budget, sizing, brief and ideal personal style. It should also be an easy place for you to get to. There are no additional costs for shopping outside of the CBD.

These are locations that I regularly shop with when I’m shopping with a Personal Styling client. These locations may be local to you, or one to add to your destination list if you’re visiting Sydney.

Need some help shopping?

Have you been thinking about hiring a Personal Stylist for a complete wardrobe update that matches your lifestyle, smart casual social wear outfits that feel appropriate for your social life, or some interesting outfits to wear to the office that reflect your personality?

I’m available to guide you through the shopping location of your choice, introduce to suitable retailers and educate you on what items will work for you, how to wear them in your everyday style and how to make smart shopping decisions.

Reach out for a Personal Shopping Session.

Hayley cooper.

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